Make time for one of these great fall Barbecue Festivals. If you believe that BBQ is serious business you’ll want to head over to one of the October barbecue festivals we found. From ribs to shoulder to butt, you’re sure to find a BBQ delicacy to please your palate.
Along with barbecuing often comes the other two important “B’s” – Blues and Beer – and this month’s festivals are no exception. Good times, loud music, and great food are always guaranteed so come hungry and plan on staying most of the day. Many of the delicious offerings need hours of slow cookin’ and smokin’ and you won’t want to leave before the samples come out. There’s usually plenty of other barbecue-type food on hand too like classic slaws and salads as well as some mighty fine desserts.
If you feel confident about your own barbecuing skills then by all means enter yourself and your grill into the festivities, but you’ll need to sign up early as many of the spots get taken by seasoned local barbecuers aiming for this year’s big prize.
GrooveFEST Downtown Music Festival - Cambridge, MD - Sep 21 to Sep 21, 2019
Soul, funk, jazz and blues sound out throughout downtown Cambridge.
Smoked BBQ Fest - Dallas, TX - Sep 21 to Sep 21, 2019
Brew N Que - Cape Charles, VA - Oct 2 to Oct 4, 2020
Sample over 15 craft beers. Indulge in the Eastern Shore’s famous Ed Bell oysters and clams. Pig out on BBQ and the fixings, and enjoy live music!
Granite City BBQ Festival - Elberton, GA - Sep 11 to Sep 11, 2021
Join us for the Annual Granite City BBQ Festival from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Downtown Elberton Square. Top BBQ teams compete for a cash prize, plus live music, entertainment, BBQ, arts and crafts booth, kids corner and more. Proceeds go to a scholarship fund for 4 seniors!
Q in the Lou - St Louis, MO - Oct 1 to Oct 3, 2021
A BBQ pitmasters event featuring legendary pitmasters, great bbq, cooking tutorials, cooking expo, and live local music. Entry is free – BBQ, beer, VIP experiences and more available to purchase.
Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival - Lutherville-Timonium, MD - Oct 29 to Oct 29, 2021
Annual festival serving up more than 60 beers, 40 bourbons, lots of BBQ, live music and more
Riverfest Barbecue Cook-off - Decatur, AL - Sep 2 to Sep 3, 2022
Over 70 professional and amateur BBQ cooking teams compete for prizes. Held the third Saturday in September, this barbeque cook-off at Ingalls Harbor is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society and attracts competitors from across the country. Selected as a top ten tourist event in the State of Alabama, festival goers can expect live, nationally known musical acts, children’s activities, and award winning barbeque.
Que by the Sea - Seaside Heights, NJ - Sep 17 to Sep 17, 2022
All day live music, kids zone, BBQ competition and more.
Wine, Brew & BBQ - Hill City, SD - Aug 25 to Aug 26, 2023
This Kansas City-sanctioned barbecue is a national competition and opportunity for the public to sample and appreciate great barbecue from 24 competitors plus wine and beer from local crafters. Live music under a big tent on Hill City’s Main Street.
Nugget Casino Rib Cook-off - Sparks, NV - Aug 30 to Sep 4, 2023
An all you can eat event with plenty of BBQ foods (over 250,000 pounds of ribs) plus live music entertainment, kids activities, craft vendors, beer garden, and of course the casino nearby.
BBQ Days - Kamiah, ID - Sep 1 to Sep 3, 2023
A free barbecue dinner that has been going on for more than 80 years. Other activities include the beer garden, art reception and show, quilt show, crafts, chuckwagon breakfast, street music and more. Since 1936.
Labor Day BBQ at St Josef’s - Canby, OR - Sep 3 to Sep 3, 2023
Come celebrate the last Sunday of summer with BBQ and music on the patio at St Josef’s Winery.
Ribs Rods & Rock’n Roll - Vermillion, SD - Sep 8 to Sep 9, 2023
South Dakota BBQ Championship with $10,000 in prizes. Car show, food court live music and beer garden. Motorcycle charity poker run.
Apple & BBQ Cook-Off Festival - Hart, MI - Sep 8 to Sep 9, 2023
BBQ cook-off, apple pie contest, 5K fun run, craft show, classic auto & truck show, dune buggy show, kid’s activities, live entertainment & food (cash only for food and beverage sales).
Bernard Blues & BBQ - Cullman, AL - Sep 9 to Sep 10, 2023
The festival offers a wonderful variety of handmade arts and crafts as well as live musical performances throughout the weekend. It features a Southern menu of hickory smoked pulled pork, barbeque ribs, chicken wings, Johnsonville brats, hamburgers and hotdogs plus all the fixings. Funnel cakes, strawberry waffles, and fried apple and peach pies will top the list of desserts. As part of this event, St. Bernard Prep will give away over $10,000 in cash prizes at the conclusion of the show. – free parking and $5 admission.
Blue Ridge Blues and BBQ Music Festival - Blue Ridge, GA - Sep 14 to Sep 16, 2023
The sounds of blues music and the sweet smell of BBQ from local and regional cookers will fill the air as families and groups of friends enjoy this unique setting and event. The event begins Friday night with a Blues Crawl with bands set up in our restaurants downtown. The actual festival is on Saturday.
Preble County Pork Festival - Eaton, OH - Sep 15 to Sep 17, 2023
Celebrates Preble County’s pork producing industry and agricultural heritage with food, parade, and arts/crafts. Free admission and free entertainment
Tri City BBQ Fest - Denison, IA - Sep 15 to Sep 16, 2023
A battle of brisket, bands and beer from three cities: Omaha, Des Moines and Sioux City. BBQ competition, beer tent, carnival games & rides, car show, three historical tours, petting zoo, shopping and more. Free admissions!
BBQ Fest at Wachusett Mountain - Princeton, MA - Sep 16 to Sep 17, 2023
Head up to Wachusett Mountain for some of the finest vendors in the area for this tasty event which also features live music, craft fair and farmers’ market, contests and cooking demos.
Barbecue on the River - Paducah, KY - Sep 21 to Sep 23, 2023
Come on down to enjoy BBQ, live entertainment, crafts and more in charming Paducah!
Bar-B-QC - Davenport, IA - Sep 23 to Sep 24, 2023
Barbecue for lunch and dinner, live music, and craft beer tasting on Saturday
Roots N Blues Festival - Columbia, MO - Sep 29 to Oct 1, 2023
Over 40 musicians representing genres of blues, roots, gospel, folk, country, and soul, plus a 1/2 marathon and 10K, and more at Stephens Lake Park. Since 2007.
The Real Squeal: Lyons BBQ & Music Festival - Lyons, GA - Oct 6 to Oct 7, 2023
A barbecue contest with live music, car show and other festivities.
Congaree Swamp Fest - Hopkins, SC - Oct 6 to Oct 7, 2023
20th annual. Two days of BBQ, blues, Oyster Roast, vndors, kiddie rides, live music, and more! Friday ($40), Saturday night (free). Held at Harriet Barber House
Gaston Collard & BBQ Festival - Gaston, SC - Oct 7 to Oct 7, 2023
Barbecue competition, parade, live entertainment, kids’ rides, arts & crafts and more
Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival - New Orleans, LA - Oct 13 to Oct 15, 2023
Live music, Southern barbecue and fun in Lafayette Square. Admission is free at Lafayette Square Park.
Butler Fest - Butler, AL - Oct 13 to Oct 14, 2023
Barbecue events sanctioned by Memphis Barbecue Network and Alabama Barbecue Association. Businesses show their town spirit with a parade of decorated pigs announcing the event. Children of all ages can have fun at the carnival beginning Friday. Over 75 food and craft vendors will be set up around Courthouse Square beginning Friday morning. Saturday kicks of with a 5K run, 2 mile walk, and Kid’s Fun Run. After the barbecue winners are announced on Saturday, the streets shut down for a dance.
Swine and Wine - Accomac, VA - Oct 21 to Oct 21, 2023
As the name suggests there is plenty of swine at this event in the form of tender, smoky pork barbecue, as well as smoked chicken. Guests get a true taste of a southern barbecue dinner with all the fixings, as the meal is accompanied by collard greens, macaroni and cheese, baked beans and coleslaw. A variety of wine and beer is available including vintages from local winery Chatham Vineyards. There is live music to keep guests entertained, and a silent auction features Eastern Shore art, golfing trips, fishing gear and many other items.
Atlanta Kosher BBQ Festival - Sandy Springs, GA - Oct 22 to Oct 22, 2023
A fun family day centered around Kosher BBQ – beef brisket, beef ribs, chicken and chili. You don’t have to be Jewish to come and eat or compete in the KCBS judged BBQ competition. They will have music all day long as well as a huge kids area and vendors.
The Barbecue Festival - Lexington, NC - Oct 28 to Oct 28, 2023
Free admission for over 100,000 people to the barbecue capital of the world. Great food, live entertainment, and the finest exhibits along with a wine garden, barbecue carnival, sand sculptures, car show, and BMX stunt shows make this a fun day. Since 1984